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Soldiers of the western front! Dunkirk has fallen! 40,000 English and French have been taken prisoner as the final remnant of once great armies.

Immense material has been taken as booty.

The greatest battle in world history has thereby ended.

Soldiers! My trust in you was a boundless one. You have not disappointed me. The boldest plan in military history was achieved through your unequaled valor, through your energy in the bearing of great hardships, maximum exertions and efforts.

In a few weeks, you have, in heavy fighting, often against thoroughly brave opponents, forced two states to capitulation, annihilated France’s best divisions, beaten, captured or chased from the continent the British Expeditionary Corps. All formations of the Wehrmacht on land and in the sky outdid themselves reciprocally in the noblest competition of action for our folk and the Greater German Reich. Brave men of the navy participated in these deeds.

Soldiers! Many of you have sealed their loyalty with their lives, others are wounded. The hearts of our folk are with them and with you in deep gratitude.

England’s and France’s plutocratic rulers, who have con-spired to prevent by all means the blossoming of a new, better world, wish the continuation of this war. Their wish should be fulfilled!

Soldiers! As of this present day, the western front assembles again. Countless new divisions join you, which for the first time will see and strike the opponent. The struggle for our folk’s freedom, for existence or non-existence for now and for all future, will hence be continued until the annihilation of those hostile rulers in London and Paris, who even now still believe they can see in war the better means for the realization of their folk-hostile plans. Their historical instruction will be our victory!

All of Germany, however, is again with you in spirit.

Führer headquarters, June 5, 1940
Adolf Hitler

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